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VOL. 46 | NO. 24 | Friday, June 17, 2022

VU Children’s Hospital No. 1 in state, Southeast

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Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has once again been named the No. 1 children’s hospital in Tennessee and continues to be recognized among the top pediatric hospitals in the nation, the latest U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospital rankings finds.

In the newly released 2022-2023 rankings, Children’s Hospital again achieved a maximum 10 out of 10 pediatric specialty programs nationally ranked, with three specialties earning spots in the top 20. Children’s Hospital is one of only 23 pediatric hospitals in the nation to rank in all 10 specialties, and the only pediatric facility in Tennessee to attain this goal.

For the second year in the regional rankings category, Children’s Hospital has also been recognized as No. 1 in the southeast.

The Southeast Region includes 18 pediatric facilities in nine states (Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina). Children’s Hospital shares first place in the region with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Children’s Hospital of Alabama.

State gets USDA grant for emergency food

Tennesseans facing food insecurity will have improved access to nutritious foods thanks to a grant awarded to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service has awarded a $1 million grant to TDA to improve reach and resiliency of The Emergency Food Assistance Program in the state.

TEFAP is a federal program that supplements the diets of low-income Americans by providing them with emergency food at no cost.

With the benefit of this grant, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank and the Mid-South Food Bank will expand mobile pantries. Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee will purchase equipment and support renovations at local distribution sites.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee will increase TEFAP distributions and establish new distribution sites in underserved areas. Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee will conduct a needs assessment to better understand current reach and upgrade coolers and freezers at local distribution sites.

State fees on vehicles waived beginning July 1

The state’s Department of Revenue is providing a bit of relief for vehicle owners for the next year.

Under a new state law, the Tennessee General Assembly has waived state registration fees for Class A and Class B motor vehicles, for renewals after July 1 and before June 30, 2023.

Class A includes motorcycles and autocycles and Class B includes passenger motor vehicles and motor homes. The state portion of the fee waived under this law is $16.75 for Class A and $23.75 for Class B. Other fees that are earmarked for safety and system improvement purposes, as well as the additional electric vehicle registration fee and county fees, are not waived under the new law.

Tune Airport replaces storm-damaged hangars

The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 15 at John C. Tune Airport to mark the completion of 78 new aircraft hangars and other restoration efforts following the March 2020 tornado damage.

On March 3, 2020, an EF-2 tornado damaged 16 hangar buildings. Beginning in July 2020, MNAA developed a master redevelopment plan to restore and expand airport facilities at JWN. In February 2021, construction began on the $38.8 million project. The restoration and improvement plan consisted of 100 hangars and plane ports with the final one opening in May 2022.

The John C. Tune redevelopment plan includes 40 42-foot hangars, 38 48-foot T hangars, 10 plane ports, additional aircraft tie-downs, airfield access roadway and visitor parking, additional aircraft parking (completing in August), apron expansion (completing in December) and an administration/maintenance facility (completing January 2023)

PRG opens Starwood Rehearsals in Nashville

As the live event production world spins back up, Nashville continues to find itself an attractive destination for companies looking to support artists and projects heading back out on the road.

Production Resource Group, a leading provider of production solutions for entertainment and live events producers, announced the opening of Starwood Rehearsals, a new concept in rehearsal spaces serving music artists preparing for tour.

The Starwood Rehearsals space is a blank slate, allowing for any type of production setup. However, given its location at PRG’s Super Depot in LaVergne, it provides clients with direct access to the entire suite of PRG equipment and expertise.

Production teams have complete privacy at Starwood Rehearsals with exclusive use of the space and the resources to run through their projects from planning to show day.

The new, climate controlled 10,000 square foot facility, boasts a 100ft. by 100ft. rehearsal space, dressing rooms, a green room, board rooms, production offices, a gallery viewing space, and a slew of technical and operational support options.

The Starwood Rehearsals name serves as a homage to Nashville’s local culture, the rich history of concert touring, and the iconic artists and their production teams who put on shows at the venue.

PRG quietly opened Starwood Rehearsals this spring, hosting several musicians and groups including Dan + Shay, Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line, and Leon Bridges. Demonstrating its flexibility, the space was even used by a corporation to film a video segment for an event.


East Nashville Beer Works adding production facility

East Nashville Beer Works looks to expand their production capacity and distribution through an upcoming new facility and taproom in Lebanon.

The company’s plans included a new 12,000-square foot production facility, along with a taproom and amenities similar to its current East Nashville location on Trinity Lane.

The new location, on Highway 109 in Lebanon, will feature a full bar and food menu centered around ENBW’s longtime made-to-order pizza concept, along with a playground and small dog park to round out the brewery’s family-friendly atmosphere.

Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation expands

To combat summer learning loss in Tennessee and support student learning in the home, Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation announced the expansion of its K-3 Home Library program to deliver close to a million books to teachers and students statewide this summer, including every rising first- and second grader enrolled in a public school in Tennessee.

In collaboration with Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, 162,000 students and teachers will receive a pack of six high-quality, age-appropriate books and literacy resources. The packs will be delivered directly to the homes of participating students and teachers, at no cost to families or school districts.

Through the K-3 Home Library program, GELF is partnering with 146 school districts and charter schools to deliver books in all 95 Tennessee counties this summer. Children enrolled in a participating school district are signed up to receive the books unless a caregiver chooses to opt them out, making it easy for families to be a part of the program.

The books were selected by GELF’s Educator Advisory Council, a group of 21 diverse Tennessee educators that serve GELF’s K-3 initiatives.

The EAC also created activity-based resources that are being provided to teachers and parents to help them incorporate the program’s books in the classroom and in the home.

Only 32% of Tennessee third graders read proficiently, a 16% decline since 2019. According to the Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee ranks 31st in the country in fourth grade reading proficiency, a ranking calculated using results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, better known as the Nation’s Report Card.

This is GELF’s third year collaborating with Scholastic to deliver books and resources to students and teachers during the summer.

Report: U.S. median rents top $2K in May

The median monthly asking rent in the U.S. surpassed $2,000 for the first time in May, rising 15% year over year to a record high of $2,002, according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s on par with April’s annual increase of 15%, but a slowdown from March’s 17% gain.

Nashville was one of four U.S. cities where rents grew more than 30% year-over-year in May, joining Austin, Seattle and Cincinnati. Asking rents surged 48% year over year in Austin—the largest increase on record in any metro area since at least the beginning of Redfin’s rental data in 2019.

Just three of the 50 most populous metro areas saw rents fall in May from a year earlier. Rents declined 10% in Milwaukee and 3% in Kansas City, Missouri, and Minneapolis. The same three metro areas saw rents decline in April as well.

Top 10 metro areas with fastest-rising rents year-over-year

Austin (48%)

Nashville (32%)

Seattle (32%)

Cincinnati (32%)

Miami (29%)

Fort Lauderdale (29%)

West Palm Beach (29%)

New York (24%)

Nassau County (24%)

New Brunswick (24%)

Signature launches local office for tech staffing

Florida-based Signature Consultants, a tech sector staffing consultancy part of Digital Intelligence Systems (DISYS) Company, has opened a Nashville office.

This move is the latest step in Signature’s role building industry leading relationships with both clients and top talent and will allow Signature to play a key role in staffing the ongoing tech boom in Nashville.

Signature brings its staffing solutions and enhanced capabilities to organizations across the city, which includes an award-winning training and development program and national recognition as one of the best staffing companies to work for.

“The Nashville tech market is electric and highly competitive, making it more and more challenging for organizations to attract and retain top talent,” says Mahfuz Ahmed, CEO of DISYS and Signature Consultants. “Having a physical location in Nashville allows us to meet clients on their terms and provide them solutions that enable their growth.”

The Signature Nashville office is open at 818 18th Avenue South, Suite 1000.

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